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Jury convicts inmate in murder of Monroe prison officer

Byron Scherf is convicted of murdering Monroe corrections officer Jayme Biendl. (KIRO Radio/Tim Haeck)

A Snohomish County jury has convicted a Monroe prison inmate of murdering a corrections officer.

A jury convicted Byron Scherf, 54, of first degree murder Thursday afternoon.

Byron Scherf admitted to killing Jayme Biendl, 34, inside the prison chapel shortly after the January 2011 murder.

The prosecution alleges Scherf planned it so he’d be alone with Biendl. When she fought back after he attacked, he grabbed an electrical cable, wrapped it three times around her neck, and strangled her.

Prosecutors played a recording of the confession in which Scherf admitted to strangling Biendl. He refused to explain what Biendl said to him to set him off, but said it was the final straw “of years and years of crap.”

At first, Scherf said he had planned to beat up Biendl, but said he sat and stewed over something the prison officer said to him. Scherf said he became very angry and soon he knew he was going to kill her.

A separate trial, beginning Monday, will determine if Scherf will get the death penalty. That ultimate punishment is something the convicted rapist told the police and prosecutors early in the investigation that he deserved.

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